Varanasi – the last stop on my itinerary… already conquered by India’s contagious beauty, by its striking scents and its blinding hues, I don’t dare to ask for more by the time I arrive to the city on the banks of the Ganges. After all, what more could there be? Not many things could outshine Delhi’s imposing forts, Agra’s world-renowned ode to love or Jaipur’s splendid palaces serving as an inspiration to some of the most enchanting stories ever conceived. Still, one place did: the soul of the Hinduism, Varanasi, one of the eldest cities ever inhabited, proved not only to exceed my expectations, but to overwhelm my every sense, in a way I wasn’t aware to be possible. A place ruled by the Holy waters of Ganges, quiet witness of the daily rituals of life and death, a place where street chaos gets in your blood like a virus, transforming even the most innocent stroll into a hazardous enterprise, a place where I’d want to stop time, just for a few seconds, to be able to inhale, to observe, to store in my heart even the smallest details of the smells, sounds and hues that here, more than anywhere else, seem to gather together life’s finest features: unapologetic, vibrant and brightly colored.
“…the One land that all men desire to see and having seen it once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for all the shows of all the rest of the Globe combined” – Marc Twain about India